By Matt Mueller Culture Editor Published Jan 08, 2021 at 3:21 PM

After more than two decades on Milwaukee airwaves, longtime local sports radio personality Bill "The Big Unit" Michaels is out at 1250 AM The Fan in what the host calls "a brief break from the airwaves."

The announcement was made on the station in a written statement from Michaels read on air by Joe Zenzola, executive producer at 1250 AM The Fan, at the end of Friday's "The Bill Michaels Show," hosted during the weekday midday slot from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.

"There comes a time in your time when some stresses begin to drag you down," Michaels said in the statement. "In doing so, your effort and attention is pulled in numerous directions, leaving you with the inability to focus on your sole task. At this time, I'm going to take a brief break from the airwaves.

"I have nothing but respect and admiration for Entercom as a company, and I thank them for helping me build a dream. I can't thank my co-workers and friends enough for their support, energy, effort and professionalism. You are all the best.

"I love radio and its ability to touch so many people informatively as well as passionately. That drives me every day and will continue to run deep in my soul. I believe that if you trim back the dead branches, ultimately, the tree grows stronger. I hope to do just that."

The full final announcement from Zenzola can be heard below:

Michaels tweeted the following shortly before the show's end, thanking his fans and noting, "I'll be around."

Originally from Cincinnnati, Ohio, Michaels has been on Milwaukee airwaves since 1999 when he joined 620 WTMJ. Michaels served as a talk show host and personality, as well as sports director, until the spring of 2011 when the two went separate ways. Shortly after, Michaels created a self-syndicated radio show network that broadcast and launched with 1250 WSSP/The Fan as the flagship later that year. 

While Michaels' next radio move is yet uncertain, 1250 AM The Fan already announced the replacement for the 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. slot on the station: The Wendy's Big Show hosted by LeRoy Butler, Gary Ellerson and Steve Fifer. 

Matt Mueller Culture Editor

As much as it is a gigantic cliché to say that one has always had a passion for film, Matt Mueller has always had a passion for film. Whether it was bringing in the latest movie reviews for his first grade show-and-tell or writing film reviews for the St. Norbert College Times as a high school student, Matt is way too obsessed with movies for his own good.

When he's not writing about the latest blockbuster or talking much too glowingly about "Piranha 3D," Matt can probably be found watching literally any sport (minus cricket) or working at - get this - a local movie theater. Or watching a movie. Yeah, he's probably watching a movie.